March 19, 2017

The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike

Title:  The Witches of Eastwick
Author:  John Updike
Pages:  340
Genre:  Fantasy / Fiction
Publisher:  Random House, 1984
Series:  Stand Alone

Synopsis:  Toward the end of the Vietnam era, in a snug little Rhode Island seacoast town, wonderful powers have descended upon Alexandra, Jane and Sukie, bewitching divorcĂ©es with sudden access to all that is female, fecund, and mysterious.  Alexandra, a sculptor, summons thunderstorms; Jane, a cellist, floats on the air; and Sukie, the local gossip columnist, turns milk into cream.  Their happy little coven takes on a new, malignant life when a dark and moneyed stranger, Darryl Van Horne, refurbishes the long-derelict Lenox mansion and invites them in to play.  Thenceforth, scandal flits through the darkening, crooked streets of Eastwick -- and through the even darker fantasies of the town's collective psyche.

Review:  Ever since I saw the movie starring Jack Nicholson that is based on this book, I've been dying to read it.  Unfortunately, none of the fun of the movie is present in these pages.  The writing is difficult to read.  The descriptions are overdone.  And Darryl Van Horn is gross, slobbery and insulting.

To make it worse, the only real message in this story seems to be, 'No woman can possibly be happy without a man in her life'.  Ugh.  Maybe the author was trying to be ironic, but it didn't come across that way to me.  The writing was so dull, even the parts that were meant to be exciting were like watching paint dry.  All I came away with was a strong desire to throw the book in the garbage (I didn't, maybe someone else will like it) and an even stronger desire to get my wasted time back.

It's the same basic tale as the movie, but it's just really awful and impossible to get interested in.  I have the flu and was stuck in bed all weekend and still I could barely get through to the end.  I kept hoping it would get better.  It just didn't.  Very disappointing.  This is the second novel I've read by this author (the first was The Terrorist) and I didn't like either of them.  I won't be trying a third one.

Rating:  1 / 10

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for an honest review of the book. Sounds like a huge disappointment compared to the movie. Hopefully the next book you read makes up for this one.


Back to Top